Where's Frankie?

The Pas de Calais is closed!

Friday 11th December

We stayed an extra day at Odeliete making three nights in all, I’m making a distinction here, I would normally call it three days but we pay for nights our host was making sure that we had it right, he was also a bit peeved, a Spanish van had just left before we arrived without paying!

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With the weather improving we went for a walk to the town of Odeliete. All around this area are plantations of some sort of Pine tree. They are definitely planted in rows and looked after but we couldn’t really see why. While we were there there was nothing you could say could be picked from the branches, the trees are short so not a great source of timber either. We could see no signs of any harvest at all.

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In the distance Odeliete, a bustling metropolis in the heart of Portugal inhabited by a couple of elderly folk with no shops, bars, or sensible streets, they were all far too steep to be useable.

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And this was our return walk up the wobbly wobbly road. We did see small groves of Orange, fig and lemon trees and a few vines, other than dogs barking everything was still.

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Here’s Frankie chatting away with his mates. 

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And out of the front windscreen we got more interesting clouds than the other nights. The weather is improving, let’s go and hit a beach.

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We arrived at an aire in Altura, I’m trying to avoid the places we went to earlier this year, no good reason other that to see more places, and the first thing we see is the laundry van. They did a good job for us last time we were at Manta Rota so even before we had found a spot to park in we had said goodbye to half our clothing.

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Two days later this is what we get back. €9.50, all socks, knickers, t-shirts, shorts and Frankies bed bath cloths are all neatly folded and smelling fresh. Sometimes we have spent more than that in a launderette only to have to hang them up to dry afterwards as well.

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So here we are squeezed in between a French and German motorhome bucking the trend by parking nose in so we can get Frankie level. As soon as we arrived the French Woman come out of her van shouting “Pas de Calais, Pas de Calais, Interdit”. I’m thinking what’s wrong with the Pas de Calais, has it been closed, another terrorist atrocity or they are fed up with immigrants and it’s all been closed down. I’m trying to tell her that it’s taken us seven weeks to get from Calais but it was only when I took my chocks out to level up that she realised I was talking about Pas de Calais and she was talking about Pas de cale!

Easy mistake to make but she thought it was hilarious and went around telling everyone that I thought she said Pas de Calais. Have I lost you yet? Pas de cale means no chocks. She was warning me about not putting the van up on chocks, or putting chairs out, or solar panels (like the German next to me) because we are on a free car park and we really shouldn’t be there. It’s wild camping and the local police are not very keen on us being there. We’ve heard of a large group being turfed off another site and all having to pay €280 fines.

It’s made me think more about where we do park, should be upset the locals by taking over an area and freeloading or should we try and put something back by paying for our pitches? We did use one of the restaurants for lunch (Eggs, sausage and chips without the eggs) and we bought oranges off a local. We stayed for two nights, spent a total of €30. We didn’t go to the water fountain to fill our water tank, we didn’t tip our toilet waste down the public convenience, but we could see lots of people, of all nationalities, who looked like they were there for a long time freeloading.

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Thursday was glorious and since we were 100 metres from the beach it was sunbathing day. Above you can see Villa Real San Antonia, 4 miles in the distance, very few people about so we kindled all day long and made sand angels.

Thousands of birds flew skimming the waves flying from right to left in small flocks of no more than a dozen at a time. I’m guessing they are heading for Africa but above them were Cormorants flying at 40 to 50 feet, circling, circling and then diving straight down into the water.

On Friday morning, while we were waiting for the washing to come back I put a long telephoto lens on my camera and went down to the beach to take some photos of the Cormorants and they had all buggered off!  The tide was out so they must be somewhere drying off their wings.

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We needed gas and food so have moved along a bit to Moncarapacho, a proper aire, €8 with electric and wifi. We’re looking for somewhere to spend Xmas, this isn’t it but a couple of days chilling out on the net will do me.

The gas seemed to be much harder to find than I remember, the first place had run out, the second place was on a toll road and Stella thought we could jump over the fence, fill up and then jump back but after going 14 miles out of our way to get onto the toll road and on the right side of the fence we found there was no LPG there. We eventually found a little place (which was closed until 2pm) and refilled for 55c per litre. That’s 39p per litre, a price that I was paying in the UK over 10 years ago.

It’s likely that the number of blogs will reduce over the next couple of weeks, we are on the Algarve, we are slowing down, if we have something to report than I will write about it but when you’re snoozing on the beach there really isn’t a lot you can write about!

7 thoughts on “The Pas de Calais is closed!

  1. Nick and Elaine

    Brilliant as ever, in case there are no further blogs for Christmas have a very Merry one we will drink a bottle or two to you. Sort of envious but Nick is too busy playing with his gift to himself, 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Top. Have a good one. Nick and Elaine xx

    1. Mark Post author

      There should be more blogs, just even more irregular than before!

      Nick is very generous to himself, I bet he gets a quadcopter as well!!

      Stay safe, drink lots.

      See you soon

      Mark & Lucy

  2. Peter

    Another good one! I now won’t forget what the French call leveling blocks!.. and as for too much lazing about in the sun to write the blog – well I think you should be made to… in the heat of the day… with the door shut lol.
    We’re still hoping to be down in the Algarkirk by mid January.. might bump into you
    Cheers. Peter

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